First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty

Genre: Documentary
84 min

often reasonable and charitable,

but he could also be obstinate,

domineering, and autocratic.

"A democracy,"he said,

"is accounted the meanest

and worst of all forms

of government."

Winthrop's colony

would not abide dissent.

Patricia bonomi:

didn't come to establish

religious liberty.

They came to practice their own

form of christianity

without interference

from anybody else.

In 1637,

an unlikely opponent emerged

in Boston--Anne hutchinson,

a 46-year-old woman

then in the midst

of her 15th pregnancy.

Women in the colony were

forbidden from preaching,

but the brave

and strong-willed hutchinson

began conducting

popular Bible groups.

Man as winthrop:
We see not

that any hath authority

to set up any other exercises

besides what authority

hath already set up.

By 1637,

the puritan powers

had had enough.

Anne hutchinson was brought

to civil trial for sedition

with John winthrop presiding.

She defended herself


but there would be no escape

from judgment.

We are your judges

and not you ours.

Mistress hutchinson,

the sentence of the court

you hear is that you

are to be banished

from out

of our jurisdiction

as being a woman not fit

for our society.

I desire to

know wherefore

I am banished?

Say no more.

The court knows wherefore

and is satisfied.

The trial had to do

with the role of women,

but at its core,

it was about religious liberty,

and religious liberty lost.

Richard bushman:

John winthrop was devoted to

making the Massachusetts

bay colony work,

and he felt religion

was the heart drive

of the whole operation,

but for that very reason,

he could not let religion

disrupt the bay colony,

and Anne hutchinson seemed

like a very dangerous person,

and he felt obligated

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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